Special Report

20 Most Popular Stores in America

Source: Michael Rivera / Wikimedia Commons

5. Subway
> Pct. of total US retail foot traffic: 0.82%
> Pct. of restaurant visitors in April: 4.44%
> No. of U.S. stores: 24,304
> Annual revenue: N/A

With 24,304 stores in the United States, and counting, Subway has more locations than any other restaurant chain. It is one of the largest privately owned food companies in the nation and the most popular quick-service restaurant for submarine sandwiches (subs) and salads. Subway’s rank as the second most popular restaurant franchise in America has not been challenged from last year, but its market share has declined significantly due to an increase in competition from smaller players. After peaking at more than 27,000 locations in 2015, the chain has since closed more stores than it opened.

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4. Walgreens
> Pct. of total US retail foot traffic: 0.92%
> Pct. of pharmacies visitors in April: 34.63%
> No. of U.S. stores: 9,451
> Annual revenue: $30.8 billion

The most popular pharmacy in America so far this year is Walgreens. The company reported a 11.27% revenue growth in 2018 from 2017. In addition to Walgreens popular stores — which include both Walgreens and Duane Reade stores — the company also owns a handful of product lines that sell globally, including No7, Soap & Glory, Liz Earle, Sleek MakeUP, and Botanics. Walgreens not only claimed more than a third of American pharmacy visitors in March, but it also filled over 1 billion prescriptions during fiscal year 2018.

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3. Starbucks
> Pct. of total US retail foot traffic: 1.13%
> Pct. of cafe, coffee house, & tea house visitors in April: 77.94%
> No. of U.S. stores: 14,606
> Annual revenue: $24.7 billion

Nearly 78% of Americans who purchased their lattes on-the-go in March did it at Starbucks. The number of Starbucks stores — both company owned and franchises — increased significantly between fiscal year 2017 and 2018. The major coffee chain has reported revenue growth of over $1 billion year-over-year since at least 2014. Starbucks reported a 10% increase in net revenue in 2018. Starbucks has more stores than any other coffee shop in the nation.

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

2. McDonald’s
> Pct. of total US retail foot traffic: 1.57%
> Pct. of restaurant visitors in April: 8.51%
> No. of U.S. stores: 13,914
> Annual revenue: $21.0 billion

It is no surprise to American consumers that McDonald’s is the most visited restaurant — it has been consistently for years. Consistency is synonymous with McDonald’s, from years of growing guest counts to 15 consecutive quarters of positive global comparable sales growth. The company was able to return $8.5 billion to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends in 2018. Looking to the future, McDonald’s aims to continue its growth trend among American consumers by focusing on additional coffee shop products, like donut sticks and new McCafé coffee offerings.

Source: slobo / Getty Images

1. Walmart
> Pct. of total US retail foot traffic: 2.00%
> Pct. of department store visitors in April: 47.23%
> No. of U.S. stores: 5,368
> Annual revenue: $514.4 billion

Capturing nearly half of all department store visitors in the United States, Walmart reported $514.4 billion in net sales in fiscal 2019. Though many retailers are struggling to compete with Amazon, Walmart reported the best first quarter overall sales in nearly a decade, demonstrating its brick-and-mortar operations are running strong. Walmart’s ad spending topped $3 billion in 2018. There are more than 5,300 Walmart locations in the United States, including Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club stores.

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